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Kaloyeros sentenced to 3 1/2 years for Buffalo Billion bid-rigging

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File photo
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The former head of key economic development programs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, including the Buffalo Billion, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday. Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, 62, was also sentenced to two years supervised release and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for helping steer hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded state contracts to favored developers.  

The developers - Louis Ciminelli, 63, of Buffalo and Steven Aiello, 60, and Joe Gerardi, 59, of COR development in Syracuse - all were sentenced to at least 28 months in prison earlier this month.

Kaloyeros, Aiello, Gerardi and Ciminelli were each convicted of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy in July. Gerardi was also convicted of making false statements to federal officers. In addition to the bid-rigging offense, Aiello’s sentence also reflected his conviction for paying bribes to Joseph Percoco, a former executive aide and campaign manager to the Cuomo.

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Credit U.S. Attorney's Office-Southern District of New York
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U.S. Attorney's Office-Southern District of New York
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman

“The Buffalo Billion program is an economic initiative intended to stimulate economic growth and ultimately benefit the people of New York, but a well-connected group of Albany insiders exploited the project to benefit themselves instead," said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. "Public corruption – especially at such a disconcertingly high level in Albany – contributes to the frustration and eroding faith of the people of New York in the integrity of their government. We will continue to do everything within our power to ensure that funds intended for the greater good of New Yorkers will be used for just that – and
not to line the pockets of influence-peddlers with high-level access.”

Kaloyeros, a Lebanese immigrant who survived the civil war in that country, rose to head the SUNY Polytechnic Institute and is credited with jumpstarting the nanotech industry in upstate New York.

Cuomo, who once called Kaloyeros his “economic guru” and a “genius,” said at the time of Kaloyeros’ conviction that he should be “punished to the full extent of the law.”

Cuomo was not implicated in the trials and said he did not know the bid-rigging was going on.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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